- Stage 4A nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- Has spread beyond the nasopharynx
- May have spread to the skull and/or cranial nerves, the main salivary gland, or the eye or its nearby tissues
- May also have spread to one or more lymph nodes in the neck and/or to lymph nodes behind the pharynx
- Affected lymph nodes are six centimeters or smaller
- Has not spread to distant parts of the body (M0).
- Stage 4B nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- Has spread to lymph nodes between the collarbone and the top of the shoulder and/or the affected lymph nodes are larger than six centimeters
- Stage 4C nasopharyngeal carcinoma
- Has spread beyond nearby lymph nodes to other parts of the body
What Are Symptoms of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma?
Symptoms of nasopharyngeal carcinoma include:
- A lump or mass in the neck
- Nasal blockage or stuffiness
- Facial pain or numbness
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Feeling of fullness in the ear (especially on one side only)
- Ear pain
- Recurrent ear infections (more common in children)
- Hearing loss
- Trouble opening the mouth
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty breathing or talking
What Causes Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma?
The cause of most cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is unknown.
Risk factors for developing nasopharyngeal carcinoma include:
- Being male
- Where you live or ethnicity
- Most common in southern China (including Hong Kong), Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Northwest Canada, and Greenland
- In the U.S., it is most common in Asian and Pacific Islanders (particularly Chinese Americans), Native American and Alaskan natives, African Americans, whites, and Hispanics/Latinos
- Diets very high in salt-cured fish and meat
- This diet is common in areas where the cancer is more prevalent
- Heavy alcohol use
- Family history
- Infection with Epstein-Barr virus
- Workplace exposure to formaldehyde (possible; link is not clear)
How Is Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Diagnosed?
In addition to a medical examination and patient history, tests used to diagnose nasopharyngeal carcinoma include:
What Is the Treatment for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma?
Treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma includes:
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